USDA Announces Dumas, AR as one of 47 Rural Communities to Receive Technical Assistance to Help Build Long-Term Economic Growth

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On June 6, 2019, Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced the West Dumas Community Family Life Center (WDCFLC) in Dumas, AR as one of 47 rural recipients that will receive technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans. "USDA and its partners are bringing local leaders and economic development experts together to create opportunity in some of the nation's most economically challenged rural communities," Baxley said. USDA is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI). The West Dumas Community Life Center has been paired with the national Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP). Communities Unlimited, the Southern RCAP, is a community development organization that will provide technical assistance under RED! to support five rural towns and regions in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas, including Dumas, to create and implement economic development plans. The WDCFLC applied for the planning assistance in order to expand e­connectivity access and improve economic development that will benefit residents of 20 rural counties throughout Arkansas.

About Communities Unlimited, Inc.:
Communities Unlimited (CU) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community development organization providing resources across seven southern states in support of locally-led initiatives to improve the lives of those that live and work in rural communities and neighborhoods within larger urban areas. CU combines fundamental infrastructure improvement with entrepreneurial growth strategies to move rural places along a trajectory toward prosperity. We accomplish this through local on-site technical assistance, training, lending, GIS mapping services and strategic partnerships. CU is an EOE M/F/Disability/Veteran Employer, Lender and Provider.

About West Dumas Community Family Life and Legacy Center:
The West Dumas Community Family Life Center and Legacy Center is a public-benefit non-profit corporation offering community programs and services with the mission to uplift and transform lives from multiple levels of disparity and inequities. Thousands of persons from Dumas throughout the Delta have utilized this venue for twenty-five years. The current program of destination is the Digital Arts Technology College Network (DAT-C) coming fall of 2019. It focuses on education, entrepreneurship and economic development. The center currently engaged in a 1.5-million-dollar redevelopment initiative. 

The core mission is providing the education of students who are primary in low income housing (but also other constituents), the tools necessary for the students/participants to be successful business executives or entrepreneurs inside the creative economy workforce. Backbone partner organizations are TCAA, The College of Aspiring Artists and ASC Management Company. ASC has over 1200 housing units across the state of Arkansas and houses over 2,000 persons in apartments and other housing units. The campus sits on five acres and has a park and recreations program that features, a full court covered basketball arena, playground equipment and plenty room for family, school, church reunions, festivals and more.